Realist? Liberal? Marxist? Feminist? Constructivist? Watch

Cato the Elder
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There have been a wide range of theories about international relations, and I was wondering which one most people on TSR would adhere to, or at least be closest to.

Realists would argue that states are naturally self-interested, based on the Hobbesian view of human beings as selfish and violent. As such, states will do whatever they need to do to protect self-interests, including going to war, which is seen as a natural and inevitable part of international relations. Defensive realists would argue that states prefer to build up enough power to enable them to defend their interests, whilst offensive realists champion the idea that states are willing to advance their interests through more aggressive and intrusive measures (i.e. invading other countries). Neo-realists would argue that the anarchic nature of the world system (in which supranational bodies like the UN are completely ineffective in preventing global conflagrations and opposing rogue regimes) make it so that states must rely on themselves and their own strength in the pursuit of their own interests.

Liberals would argue that it is authoritarianism and lack of political freedoms as well as economic nationalism across the globe that is the cause of international conflict, and that the spread of democracy, free trade and international law will guarantee naturally peaceful relations between states. Wars will become so costly to states, and so unfavourably viewed by the public in democratic countries, that peace will become the norm. Liberals tend to put their faith in international institutions like the UN in bringing about world peace.

Marxists would argue that wars occur because of states seeking global hegemony in an immoral, capitalist system, whereas feminists would blame the male domination of international relations for wars, which occur because of men competing with other men for power and prestige.

Personally I am somewhere between the liberal and the realist theories. I believe that freer countries are less likely to go to war with each other than any other types of countries, but that we should not rely on farcical and ineffective international institutions like the UN as a means of promoting world peace, but that free countries must always be armed and ready to defend threats to their freedom, and, if necessary, act unilaterally, as we did in Iraq, in defiance of such moribund and pathetic conglomerations.
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Connor27
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
There have been a wide range of theories about international relations, and I was wondering which one most people on TSR would adhere to, or at least be closest to.

Realists would argue that states are naturally self-interested, based on the Hobbesian view of human beings as selfish and violent. As such, states will do whatever they need to do to protect self-interests, including going to war, which is seen as a natural and inevitable part of international relations. Defensive realists would argue that states prefer to build up enough power to enable them to defend their interests, whilst offensive realists champion the idea that states are willing to advance their interests through more aggressive and intrusive measures (i.e. invading other countries). Neo-realists would argue that the anarchic nature of the world system (in which supranational bodies like the UN are completely ineffective in preventing global conflagrations and opposing rogue regimes) make it so that states must rely on themselves and their own strength in the pursuit of their own interests.

Liberals would argue that it is authoritarianism and lack of political freedoms as well as economic nationalism across the globe that is the cause of international conflict, and that the spread of democracy, free trade and international law will guarantee naturally peaceful relations between states. Wars will become so costly to states, and so unfavourably viewed by the public in democratic countries, that peace will become the norm. Liberals tend to put their faith in international institutions like the UN in bringing about world peace.

Marxists would argue that wars occur because of states seeking global hegemony in an immoral, capitalist system, whereas feminists would blame the male domination of international relations for wars, which occur because of men competing with other men for power and prestige.

Personally I am somewhere between the liberal and the realist theories. I believe that freer countries are less likely to go to war with each other than any other types of countries, but that we should not rely on farcical and ineffective international institutions like the UN as a means of promoting world peace, but that free countries must always be armed and ready to defend threats to their freedom, and, if necessary, act unilaterally, as we did in Iraq, in defiance of such moribund and pathetic conglomerations.
I'm in a similar position to yourself; perhaps a little bit more liberal, I do have a lot of faith in the UN as it has kinda prevented a Third World War successfully for the last 70 years.
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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by Connor27)
I'm in a similar position to yourself; perhaps a little bit more liberal, I do have a lot of faith in the UN as it has kinda prevented a Third World War successfully for the last 70 years.
You could argue that MAD has more to do with that than the UN.
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Connor27
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
You could argue that MAD has more to do with that than the UN.
You could; but you could also argue Stalin wasn't deterred by MAD because he was an nutter and has nothing to lose (or at least, a lot less to lose than NATO.)

By the time Khrushchev took over you have a point, but in the early to mid 50s it was the UN that was the driving force.
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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by Connor27)
You could; but you could also argue Stalin wasn't deterred by MAD because he was an nutter and has nothing to lose (or at least, a lot less to lose than NATO.)

By the time Khrushchev took over you have a point, but in the early to mid 50s it was the UN that was the driving force.
I suppose initially, but by the time the USSR began catching up to the U.S. in terms of nukes, I'd say the UN lost relevance. And without the U.S. the UN would have meant nothing. I mean the League of Nations collapsed because the U.S. wouldn't join it.
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Count Bezukhov
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Liberal amongst similar countries, both in cultural terms and developmental terms. But I also have a steak of realist in me, as I think states must be prepared to act in their own interests if the situation calls. Basically: international cooperation is desirable and the free world should push for closer relations, but we should defend our own interests and use diplomacy to solve conflicts as far as possible, and should not be afraid to act offensively if there is no other option to maintain the security and prosperity of our society, or in defence of our values. I think it's quite easy for Western societies to unite (as they have done to a large extent already), and even some others like South Korea and Japan (and maybe China after some time and further liberalisation) should be considered reliable partners, even if cultural differences persist. I find places such as the Middle East, Africa and some parts of South America much harder to put into this group, due to corrupt, theocratic governments and vastly different (and sometimes hostile) cultures. As ever, there will always be individuals in each of these societies who do not fit into this umbrella, but 'in general' I think this model fits fairly well.

tl;dr: A mixture of the first two.
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recall113
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
There have been a wide range of theories about international relations, and I was wondering which one most people on TSR would adhere to, or at least be closest to.

Realists would argue that states are naturally self-interested, based on the Hobbesian view of human beings as selfish and violent. As such, states will do whatever they need to do to protect self-interests, including going to war, which is seen as a natural and inevitable part of international relations. Defensive realists would argue that states prefer to build up enough power to enable them to defend their interests, whilst offensive realists champion the idea that states are willing to advance their interests through more aggressive and intrusive measures (i.e. invading other countries). Neo-realists would argue that the anarchic nature of the world system (in which supranational bodies like the UN are completely ineffective in preventing global conflagrations and opposing rogue regimes) make it so that states must rely on themselves and their own strength in the pursuit of their own interests.

Liberals would argue that it is authoritarianism and lack of political freedoms as well as economic nationalism across the globe that is the cause of international conflict, and that the spread of democracy, free trade and international law will guarantee naturally peaceful relations between states. Wars will become so costly to states, and so unfavourably viewed by the public in democratic countries, that peace will become the norm. Liberals tend to put their faith in international institutions like the UN in bringing about world peace.

Marxists would argue that wars occur because of states seeking global hegemony in an immoral, capitalist system, whereas feminists would blame the male domination of international relations for wars, which occur because of men competing with other men for power and prestige.

Personally I am somewhere between the liberal and the realist theories. I believe that freer countries are less likely to go to war with each other than any other types of countries, but that we should not rely on farcical and ineffective international institutions like the UN as a means of promoting world peace, but that free countries must always be armed and ready to defend threats to their freedom, and, if necessary, act unilaterally, as we did in Iraq, in defiance of such moribund and pathetic conglomerations.
Yeah, dude. We're like totally living in the matrix.
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sleepysnooze
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#8
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realism and liberalism hybrid - the theory with the most truth is realism, but in terms of economics (not necessarily IR co-operation, global human rights and idealism~), liberalism is preferable in terms of agreements between states
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